Trailing 0-1 following the defeat in the series-opener, Sri Lanka were dealt a massive blow on Wednesday after ace off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was ruled out of the remaining four cricket one-dayers against India due to a finger injury.
The Sri Lankans have brought in two new off-spinners, Muthumudalige Pushpakumara and Suraj Randiv, in the squad.
“We have decided to rest Murali from the One-Day series to allow him to recover fully from the finger injury and to be available for future tournaments,” visiting team manager Brendon Kuruppu told PTI.
“Murali injured his ring and middle fingers during the Mumbai Test (third and final match of the series held in the first week of December) and is going back home via Chennai,” Kuruppu informed.
The world’s leading wicket-taker in Tests missed the two Twenty20 Internationals that followed the Test series as well as the first ODI that India won here on Tuesday.
Kuruppu also said the Lankans have called for the services of two new players Pushpakumara and the 24-year-old Randiv who would be joining the team ahead of the second match in Nagpur on December 18.
Pushpakumara was part of the Twenty20 squad before going back to Sri Lanka at the end of the second match in Mohali on December 12.
“They would be joining us in Nagpur,” said the visiting team manager.
He also hoped that indisposed pacer Lasith Malinga would be available for the Nagpur ODI after missing the first match. “He is doing well and should be available for the second game,” Kuruppu said